By Kristin Burns
The Fish Fry Festival comes to campus to bring free fried fish, carnival games and a “Fry What You Like” contest Thursday at Fountain Mall.
All students are invited to participate in activities that include inflatables, games, dunking booths and a pie-throwing booth. Food will be served at 6 p.m. and will continue until it runs out.
This year, the fish fry is hosted by the Association of Black Students, Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa Sigma, the African Student Association and the Baylor Activities Council.
“The purpose behind Fish Fry is to really rally all students together of different walks and cultures and to have a nice fun event outside,” said Philadelphia junior Chierra Williams, president of the Association of Black Students.
Tomball senior Megan Wilkie is serving as the service and philanthropy chair for Kappa Alpha Theta sorority and is in charge of Theta’s responsibilities for the event.
“We work with the other organizations: Kappa Sig, ABS, ASA and BAC,” Wilkie said. “We collaborate for most of it, but we focus on the carnival or the board walk aspect of it.”
Kappa Sigma is hosting the “Fry What You Like” contest where contestants fry any kind of food, like Oreos or bananas, for the judges to taste.
“The ‘Fry What You Like’ contest is a contest where groups are given four ingredients to come up with what they think will be the best fried food,” Garland senior Jeffrey Sholden of Kappa Sigma wrote in an email to the Lariat.
Fish Fry began as an event put on by the Association of Black Students six years ago, Williams said. Two years ago, the event became an all-university event and reached out to involve Kappa Sigma and the Baylor Activities Council.
“BAC is responsible for the logistic side of the event,” Houston junior Linda Okali, a program coordinator for BAC, wrote in an email. “We handle tasks such as ordering tents, communicating with risk management, stage and sound reservations and acting as a liaison between the student organizations and Student Activities.”
Theta joined the group last year, and the African Student Association was invited to join this year to bring a different cultural aspect to the event, Williams said.
“The African Student Association and ABS are alike in some ways, but they come from an African heritage,” she said. “We’re trying to have smaller African dishes there so people can experience some of their dishes to really learn about another culture here at Baylor.”
In a new twist to the event this year, two musicians, Johnny Stimson and Jarell Perry, pop and R&B artists,will perform.
“Normally, we have a jazz band that comes every year, but this year, we wanted to try something a little more contemporary,” Williams said. “Through these two artists, we are hoping to reach a variety of students at Baylor to really put on an enjoyable event with music, games and free food.”
All of the organizations are collecting proceeds separately. Theta is giving its funds to CASA, and Kappa Sigma is giving its proceeds to the Military Heroes Campaign.
“It raises money for a great cause,” Wilkie said. “Our philanthropy is CASA, which is Court-Appointed Special Advocates. It’s a great organization. We are raising funds through soliciting businesses and asking them to sponsor the event and through selling T-shirts.”
All organizations have worked well together to bring an exciting event to campus, Williams said.
“We really hope to bring everyone together,” she said. “We really want to make it an event that everybody can feel a part of and to bridge the gap between minorities and majorities on campus and create a sense of unity.”